Job Summary:

The Northwestern University Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH) is a university-wide institute dedicated to fostering research that improves the health and wellbeing of the sexual and gender minority communities. It currently has multiple NIH- and foundation-funded studies and actively collaborates with community-based organizations to conduct research and translate findings into interventions. This position will be under the direct supervision of Dr. Kathryn Macapagal, a faculty member who conducts research on sexual health and HIV prevention among sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents. Dr. Macapagal is affiliated with ISGMH and the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern. This staff member may also take direction from additional faculty/community leaders on projects.

The Research Project Manager will be expected to oversee community-engaged and interdisciplinary research and implementation projects focused on leveraging technology and social media for sexual health promotion in SGM adolescents. The staff member will start on one project, PrEP4Teens, which focuses on the development and implementation of a social marketing campaign to increase awareness of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis in adolescents in Chicago. This project is funded by several sources including the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research, Northwestern University, and the Chicago Department of Public Health. Another project (currently pending NIH funding) focuses on understanding perspectives toward HIV vaccines and other forms of HIV prevention among SGM adolescents and developing and testing brief commercial-style public service announcements aimed at increasing teens’ acceptability and willingness toward uptake of multiple HIV prevention methods. Should this second project be awarded the staff member will be expected to play a leadership role in launching the study (e.g., setting up study infrastructure, timelines, hiring, IRB) and will be supported in these activities by other staff and faculty. Both projects involve multiple sites and community, academic, and youth partners, and as such, we are seeking a relatable, engaging, trustworthy staff leader who is an organized, excellent communicator who can work confidently and collaboratively with external partners.

The project manager will be the senior staff leader on the projects who will oversee day-to-day technical and administrative aspects of the projects. The staff member will be expected to work with the PI, as well as the PI’s investigative team and community/youth partners, to execute the project scopes. Tasks will include day to day oversight of the projects, including managing staff on the projects, project organization, brainstorming, and planning, ensuring activities are executed in a timely manner, and liaising between different teams/workgroups/stakeholders involved in the projects. This person will have administrative and financial responsibilities such as managing regulatory and grant related documents (e.g., IRB, reports to funding agencies), scheduling and leading meetings, hiring staff, and managing financial transactions and budgets. The staff member will be expected to work independently and provide regular updates on study progress to the PI. The staff member will have opportunities to assist with data analysis and prepare materials for presentation and publication. The staff member may oversee at least one staff member (e.g., research coordinator/assistant) and will have opportunities to collaborate with trainees (e.g., graduate students, fellows) on these projects. This position has regular hours that may need to be flexed to meet participant/stakeholder and youth needs (i.e., some evening and weekend hours as needed.)

This is a 2-year term position with the opportunity for renewal based on performance and funding availability. If interested, please submit a resume and cover letter detailing experiences and skills that speak to the competencies and qualifications in this position description.

Please note: Supervisor provides objectives and deadlines. Work is reviewed for fulfillment of objective and deadlines and overall compliance with policy and procedures. This position has regular hours that may need to be flexed occasionally to accommodate participant/stakeholder needs (i.e., some evening and weekend hours as needed.)  Employee completes some activities without direction, informing supervisor only of potentially controversial matters, and/or far-reaching implications. This position is located on the Chicago campus of Northwestern University. In accordance with NU policy, COVID-19 vaccination required.

Specific Responsibilities:


  • Provides complex scientific & technical leadership in determining research priorities & the plan, design & execution of research projects ensuring that programs of investigation meet specified objectives. 
  • Plans, develops & implements new processes & protocols to support research studies & maximize/extend study capabilities. 
  • Oversees completion of study activities per protocol. 
  • Ensures that study protocols are in compliance with appropriate rules & regulations & reviews study progress and recommends revisions, amendments, and/or other study changes as necessary to better meet needs of sponsors. 
  • Reviews scientific literature & evaluates & recommends applicable techniques & procedures.  


  • Analyzes, evaluates & interprets data to determine relevance to research. 
  • Prepares results & may co-author scientific papers for presentation & publication & disseminates information via seminars, lectures, etc. 
  • Creates data for use in grant submission & develop new proposals for research including obtaining financial support. 
  • Acts as liaison between sponsoring agencies, collaborating organizations &/or other research &/or educational institutions. 
  • Ensures that all study documents associated with current local, state, & federal regulatory guidelines, requirements, laws & research protocols are completed in a timely manner.


  • May create &/or manage research study budget which may include deciding on & approving expenditures of funds based on budget.
  • Monitors accounts.
  • Negotiates prices & specifications with vendors.
  • Purchases supplies, materials, equipment & services.
  • Ensures appropriate allocation & compliance. 
  • Invoices study sponsors for study tests/procedures. 


  • Trains, directs, assigns duties to & may supervise lab EEs, students, residents &/or fellows. 
  • Acts as a mentor in regard to education of junior coordinators. 


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree in a major such as social or health science or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience and 5 years’ research study or other relevant experience required; OR
  • Successful completion of a full course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a master’s or higher degree in a major such as social or health science or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience and 3 years’ research study or other relevant experience.
  • Supervisory and project management experience required.
  • Must complete NU’s IRB CITI training before interacting with any participants & must re-certify every 3 years.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Skilled working with LGBTQ+/SGM/TGNC/gender-expansive individuals, specifically youth and adolescents
  • Skilled in collaborating with diverse community organizations, external consultants, and other groups outside academic settings
  • Excellent communication skills; demonstrated effective spoken and written communication with different audiences (e.g., academic, community, youth).
  • Must be comfortable discussing sex, sexual health, mental health, substance use, gender identity, sexuality, HIV using a non-judgmental, strengths-based approach
  • Familiarity with basic computer programs including Microsoft Excel/Word/Ppt, Adobe, Google
  • Strong ability to prioritize tasks.
  • Effective time management skills
  • Efficient and resourceful in problem-solving.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and ability to adhere to instructions/procedures.
  • Demonstrated ability to take ownership of the work, possessing initiative, and good follow-through.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with recruitment and retention of SGM adolescent participants to research studies
  • Design experience and experience with visual communications
  • Experience with online advertising on social media and dating apps
  • Experience and comfort with new digital technologies and apps
  • Experience managing large research budgets or other relevant experience
  • Experience preparing IRB submissions
  • Experience preparing NIH grant reports
  • Experience assisting with qualitative or mixed-methods data collection and analysis
  • Experience supervising and providing feedback to direct reports
  • Experience providing administrative support

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Experience/knowledge of IRB processes including modifications and clarifications of protocols
  • Advanced knowledge/experience working with external project consultants, community organizations, and groups
  • Experience organizing and leading small- and medium-sized research staff groups
  • Advanced knowledge and interest in issues affecting LGBTQ young people
  • Knowledge of Northwestern University financial operations and procedures
  • Experience using research database software including REDCap and Qualtrics
  • Ability to perform basic qualitative analysis and basic inferential statistics (e.g., using SPSS)
  • Skills in Canva, Photoshop, other design/editing software
  • Familiarity using social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and dating apps
  • Intermediate knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, email, and database software programs.
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Ability to work with minimum supervision and guidance
  • Ability to receive and benefit from feedback; willingness to expand skill set and improve.
  • Flexibility in adapting to new procedures and environments.

At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more!

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Work-Life and Wellness:
Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care.

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Professional Growth & Development:
Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources.

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To Apply: To apply for this position, navigate to, search for job ID 47324, and click Apply for Job.

ISGMH Diversity Statement: ISGMH’s commitment to diversity is critical to our mission of advancing access to excellence in academic programs, world-class research, and health programs. Engagement in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military service, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression will not be tolerated. Through its work, ISGMH advances the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ individuals. Staff and trainees should expect to find a diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities among ISGMH staff, trainees, research participants, and in outreach experiences. We highlight the importance of respecting and valuing this aspect of diversity among staff and trainees.

Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.